Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Tuesday 8 May 2012
10:00 a.m.
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Brunton (Chair), Dryden, Harvey (as substitute for Councillor Cole), C Hobson, McIntyre, Mawston, P Purvis, Sanderson, Saunders, J A Walker and Williams.
Members of the Public.
J Bennington, P Clark, A Crawford, C Davies, L McDonald, J Ord, J Polson and
N Sayer.
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Councillors Cole and Kerr
Declarations of interest:
Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor Saunders Personal/Non-Prejudicial Agenda Item 5: Outcome of Call-In Review of Wilson Street Taxi Marshal Scheme- related to current employment.
Item Number Item/Resolution
11/995 MINUTES

The minutes of the meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 6 March, 13 March, 27 March and 19 April 2012 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


As part of the scrutiny process and in a report of the Executive Office Manager it was reported that the Executive had considered the findings of three Final Reports in respect of Footpath Repairs, Neurological Services, and Pavement and Carriage Way works by the Utilities Companies and an update report regarding Energy Reduction.


The Executive and the Corporate Management Team had considered and supported the Service Responses.


It was pointed out that the responses received from NHS Tees and North East Specialist Commissioning Team in respect of the recommendations contained in the Health Scrutiny Panel’s report had been noted by the Executive.




The Senior Scrutiny Officer submitted a report which presented the formal feedback report on the Call-In in respect of the Review of the Wilson Street Taxi Marshal Scheme which had been considered at a meeting of the Board held on 27 March 2012. The Board had determined that the decision taken at an Individual Executive Decision-Making meeting of the Executive Member for Community Protection held on 8 March 2012 in respect of the Taxi Marshal Scheme in Wilson Street be not referred back to the Executive.


Following certain procedural matters which had arisen at the meeting of the Board held on 27 March 2012 the Constitution Committee at its meeting held on 20 April 2012 had recommended that the Council agree to the following additional paragraphs to be inserted into the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules in the Council Constitution:


(a) At the meeting considering the Call-In, the reasons for the Call-In will be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Board by the member who has initiated the Call-In, or one of the other signatories to the Call-in.


(b) If the member who initiated the Call-In wants a person who is not a member or an officer of the authority to appear as a witness, then the permission of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board must be sought as least three clear working days prior to the date of the Call-In meeting.


(c) Any person appearing at a Call-In as a witness may only provide factual evidence.




Further to the meeting of the Board held on 19 April 2012 and in accordance with the Board’s recommendations the Members’ Office Manager drew Members’ attention to proposed amendments as shown in red in the revised draft submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission in respect of the forthcoming Electoral Review.


In terms of the possible impact of recent planning application approvals for areas of significant development it was reiterated that the Boundary Commission required evidence of intent to build in the near future and beyond 2018. A detailed briefing note was circulated at the meeting which outlined the methodology applied in relation to the projected 2018 electorate which was in accordance with the Electoral Commission guidance. Such guidance took into account ratio of electors to population, Office of National Statistics population projections, projected new build housing and number of electors per new build.


It was confirmed that Tees Valley Unlimited had calculated the average number of electors per new build as 1.7 but other factors as previously indicated and not just new build had been taken into account in determining the projected 2018 electorate. The figures had been checked and approved by the Executive Director of Regeneration.


The Board acknowledged the information and guidance provided by the Electoral Commission but expressed reservations around the difficulties in the calculations with particular regard to new build which if subsequently proved to be significantly different might trigger another electoral review.


Members referred to the additional information provided in respect of the Council’s scrutiny function and suggested the inclusion of a reference to the importance of Regional Scrutiny work some of which had recently been nationally recognised.


In accordance with Members’ wishes a pro-forma had been compiled which would be emailed for completion by those Members in attendance at the meeting held on 19 April 2012 and this meeting regarding the frequency of activities such as community groups, school governing bodies, management committees, trustees meetings, ward and/or street surgeries and other ward related events.


ORDERED as follows:-


1. That the Officers be thanked for the information provided.


2. That the information provided in the draft submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission in respect of the Council’s scrutiny function includes a reference to Regional Scrutiny work.


3. That a sample survey of Members’ activities be undertaken as outlined.


The Chair of the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel outlined the Panel’s key findings, conclusions and recommendations following a scrutiny investigation of substance misuse among parents and carers in Middlesbrough.


The Board considered the following recommendations of the Panel based on the submitted evidence: -


(i) That work is continued to agree and implement a Joint Local Protocol as soon as possible. The Scrutiny Panel would expect significant progress to have been made by August/September 2012.


(ii) That, following development of a Joint Local Protocol, action is taken to measure its effectiveness - for example by developing audit and accountability systems to ensure that all involved make best use of and adhere to the protocol and by identifying and reporting to Middlesbrough Safeguarding Children’s Board on the following:-


(a) the number of children under 18 living with an adult or adults who are in Tier 3 treatment for drugs and/or alcohol misuse;


(b) the number of children who have had a Pre-CAF completed;


(c) the number of Pre-Common Assessment Framework’s resulting in a full Common Assessment Framework being completed;


(d) any gaps in services for children living with problematic substance misusers.


(iii) That all commissioned drug and alcohol services (adult and young people’s services) should have a clause included in any new contract which binds them to adhere to the joint protocol.


(iv) That training on the impact of substance misuse by parents and carers on children, on safeguarding, hidden harm, the referrals process, and the Pre-CAF and CAF processes is provided to all Adult Social Care staff who may come into contact with children of substance misusing parents and that this becomes part of core induction training.


(v) That training on the impact of substance misuse by parents and carers on children, safeguarding, hidden harm, the referrals process, and the Pre-CAF and CAF processes is also provided to all staff in commissioned drug and alcohol services who may come into contact with children of substance misusing parents.


(vi) That the Group which is developing the Joint Protocol also develops more sophisticated data gathering systems in order to improve information regarding numbers of children and young people involved, as well as age profiles.


In discussing the key findings of the Panel Members referred to the importance of ensuring that the number of social workers involved with safeguarding of children was adequate and that their caseloads were manageable. It was suggested that the Scrutiny Panel receives regular updates.


Members agreed that the development of a Joint Local Protocol was seen as a major step forward in strengthening current processes.


ORDERED that the findings and recommendations of the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive subject to the addition of ‘with an update to be reported to the Panel’ to the last sentence of recommendation (i) as shown above.


It was confirmed that no requests for scrutiny reviews had been received from the Executive, Executive Members, Non- Executive Members and members of the public since the last meeting of the Board.



A report of the Chair of each Scrutiny Panel was submitted which outlined progress on current activities.



It was confirmed that no requests had been received to call-in a decision.



The Chair thanked Members and Officers for their attendance and support throughout the last Municipal Year.


Members thanked the Chair for the able and efficient manner in which she had carried out her duties during the current Municipal Year.



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